English Revised Version
Xerxes' Royal Feasts
1Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) 2that in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, 3in the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: 4when he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. t
5And when these days were fulfilled, he king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace; 6There were hangings of white cloth, of green, and of blue, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the couches were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and white, and yellow, and black marble. 7And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the bounty of the king. 8And the drinking was according to the law; none could compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure. 9Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.
Queen Vashti's Refusal
10On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that ministered in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, 11to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the peoples and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. 12But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by the chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
Queen Vashti Deposed
13Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment; 14and the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom:) 15What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not done the bidding of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains? 16And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the peoples that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. 17For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, to make their husbands contemptible in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not. 18And this day shall the princesses of Persia and Media which have heard of the deed of the queen say the like unto all the king's princes, So shall there arise much contempt and wrath. 19If it please the king, let there go forth a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. 20And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his kingdom, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.
21And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan: 22for he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and should publish it according to the language of his people.